History: Pizarro and the conquest of Peru

By: Frederick A. Ober

Chapter 19


ALL the Pizarros put on motiming for Almagro, and two of them, Hernando and Gonzalo, followed his remains to the tomb. The third member of this precious trio, Governor Francisco, was on his way from Lima while the trial was being conducted, and is said to have purposely delayed his arrival at Cuzco in order to leave Hernando a free hand. He desired the death of his partner and rival, but did not wish it to appear that he was privy to it. Hernando, it seems, had no such scruples, and when, after sending a message to the governor (who was then at Xauxa), asking what he should do with Almagro, he received in reply: **Deal with him so that he shall cause us no more trouble,*’ he followed these instructions literally. Almagro had, indeed, been put where he would cause them no more trouble; but he had left an heir to his claims, as well as friends who revered his memory and would avenge his death. He left a son, the offspring of an Indian woman of Panama, and like himself illegitimate, but to whom he was tenderiy attached. Young Diego Almagro had followed his father to the field and been with him constantly since he could stand alone. Just before the marshal was executed, he was sent to meet the governor, who received him graciously and promised him protection, at the same time assuring him his father should not be killed. Even at that moment, however, Almagro the elder was being strangled in his cell, and the boy was thus left at the mercy of his enemies.

When Francisco Pizarro received tidings of Almagro’s death he was at the bridge of Abangay, where his rival had fought and defeated Alvarado. He was greatly affected, even to tears, and his frame trembled with emotion, though his grief was not so poignant but that he could hide it successfully on his entrance into Cuzco a few days later. With blare of trumpet and beat of drum, banners flying and horses prancing, Governor Pizarro entered a second time the city of the stm, to receive the homage of its inhabitants. He was richly dressed, wearing a splendid suit of velvet adorned with gems, which had been sent him from Mexico by Hernando Cortes.

Establishing himself in the palace, he administered the government, while his brother, Hernando, made preparations for a voyage to Spain. It was a desperate move for Hernando, who, in doubt as to the reception he would receive, gathered a vast quantity of treasure as a gift to propitiate the emperor, perchance he should be incensed at his treatment of Almagro.

His fears were well fotmded, as it proved, for soon after arriving in Spain he was summoned to trial, and eventually cast into prison, from which he did not emerge for twenty-three years! When finally released, he found not one friend alive to welcome him, it is said, save his niece, Francisco’s child by the daughter of Inca Atahuallpa, whom the governor lived with after he had murdered her father.